Rep. Massie’s bill is short, sweet, and to the point, reading “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2022.” In a release, he said, “Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students.”
To this, we would add that nowhere in the base text of the Constitution, nor in the Bill of Rights, nor in the remainder of the 27 amendments, does the word “education” appear once. Therefore, in accordance with the Tenth Amendment, education is a power neither delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, so is therefore reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
It is easy to forget just how recently a federal Department of Education was created, in 1979. In just 40 years, the Department’s budget exploded from just over $14 billion to over $81 billion in Fiscal Year 2019. Meanwhile, both parties have used the strings attached to this money to massively re-shape public education across the nation, with such dubious projects as No Child Left Behind and the Common Core standards.
By now it is common knowledge that while the U.S. has one of the highest per-capita rates of spending on education among developed nations, our students’ test scores lag well behind. This inefficiency is to be expected when so many decisions on how educational money is allocated and how programs and standards are developed have been centralized. Even the best and most well-intentioned D.C. bureaucrats will always run into the knowledge problem – that people on the ground in their own states, counties, and communities will have a far better understanding of their own needs.
Thus the federal government should have no business in education. Fully removing its current involvement would benefit students nationwide and bring our education system in line with the Constitution. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 899 to terminate the Department of Education.